tv [untitled] December 29, 2010 11:00am-11:30am PST
[captionibg made possible by california farm bureau federation] >> coming up on "california country," see how one farmer is breaking bread with his customers, literally. then we offer an ode to olives thanks to this historic company. and see how salads are getting a makeofer thanks to these long-time farmers. plus see how your flowers get from the field to the florist. it's all ahead, and it starts now.
nestled into the hills of the quiet little town of ojai is where you'll find the rio gozo farm. "rio," which means river in spanish, and "gozo," which means joy, is run by former chef and now full-time farmer john fonteyn. and if you watch him work long enough, you'll realize just how much gozo is actually flowing around these parts. >> good morning. >> you, too. how are you all? i mean, my first love with food wap really preparing food and cooking it. i just kind of felt like since food was a relationship i'm gonna have my whole life, and one i check in with 3 times a day, that it'd be good to really kind of explore it deeper. >> and john gets to explore his love f@r food every day, now across 3 1/2 acres of various real crops at the farm. he
picks squashes and packs the produce from sunrise to suown and has built a connection not only to food but his local community, too. he operates a thriving community supported agriculture business, delivering to homes and offices. in addition, he's struck up relationships with local chefs like tim kilcoyne at the sidecar restaurant in downtown ventura, offering them an outlet to get produce they may not find elsewhere, and offering them advice from a chef's viewpoint. >> something like this? is this what we're looking for? ok, cool. i love to speak to him about, like, what would you like to see next season? and so we can start talking about how we can plan his menu basically from the seed catalog, and, you know, have it to where the diners can understand that, you know, your dinner didn't just take an hour to prepare; it took 110 days. because that's how long ago we thought about what you'd be eating, what you might like
to eat. and these are some of the tomatoes that are getting ready, but we can pull these today. this is the male flower, and this is the female flower. >> how can you tell? >> 'cause it's got the fruit on it. >> oh, ok. >> and then no fruit here. >> his background, which is also another great thing is that i enjoy, like, working with him, is that he actually has a chef experience background. you know, so i mean, he knows--from my perspective, he knows exactly what, you know, what i'm thinking or things like that. >> john estimates he feeds about 165 people through his csa program. and now, thanks to tim's help, a countlesnumber of other folks who dine at the restaurant have been introduced to this farmer and his produce. and as a farmer, what better way to find out what people really think about your produce
than to inte yourself to dinner every so often? john's biggest belief is that food connects people, and so he jumped at the opportunity to connect with his community when tim brought up the idea of having a farmer dinner at his restaurant. all the food comes from local farms within 100 miles of the restaurant, and farmers like john get to put a face on the people growing the food that this community is eating. >> and it's kind of, you know, to introduce the, you know, the public to the local farmers, d, you know, kind of get the farmers, you know, out from behind the tents from the farmers market, or actually out in bront of the public so they can shake hands. and, you know, people--especially nowadays, people want to know where the food's coming from, which is important. so this is just another avenue to be able to do that. >> well, so often, like, when you're picking food and selling it, you just pick it, you put it in a box, and it disappears. and you don't actually get to see the people that are eating it.
so it has a huge impact on me to, like, just be able to put a face with whom i'm feeding. >> so as the seasons change at rio gozo farm, one thing remains constant: john's love of produce and people. and that's a connection that won't be broken soon, for him, and he hopes for others, too. >> and, yeah, we all gotta eat, you know? i mean, we can't--we can't just keep putting up house after house after house and hope that, um, you know, mexico or chile or china will be the people that are like the guardians of our food security. and, you know, to assume that everything will just plunk right along the way it is right now, and there'll be no interruption in those things is naive. so, um, i think it's important to support local farmers, and i liked--i just generally liked farmers.
>> it's probably the most widely recognized olive brand in america, and california's lindsay olives are labeled with astonishing speed and efficiency. after all, lindsay olives' parent company bell-carter foods produces more than 10 million cases olives every year. >> olives look very simple in the can, but there's a lot of hard work that goes on to produce one can of olives. >> this family-owned business is one of the largest table olive processors in the country. millions of pounds of fruit are canned and processed here in the small agricultural town of corning, about 25 miles from chico. scott patton, who has 200 acres, is one of many family growers who supply the company with manzanilla olives. >> my grandpa started back in
the early fifties, and my dad, jim patton, really brought the--and kind of organized the whole orchards and got things going, and... why i like olives? olives are good for you. olives--we were just talking about olive extract. you can eat an olive, and it helps reduce cholesterol. there's a lot of good things about olives. olive oil--that's a great thing. >> but tell me a little bit--these are your babies basically. >> well, yes, they are. yes. a lot of times you'll get years where there's just an olive here a@d an olive there. but the pollination was great this year, so we have olives prepty uniformly in the--throughout the canopy. so we sell--the majority of our olives go to bell-carter. um, they've been great for the industry, and they produce a great, great product. >> california's weather is perfect for olives, and some of these trees can grow for several
hundred years. but you may be surprised to know that harvesting in california is largely done by hand. flash back more than 100 years to 1912. back then, olives were harvested the very same way, by hand. that's when two brothers, arthur and henry bell, decided to buy a small olive grove near fresno. they even carried on harvesting and selling olives through the great depression. no one realized it back then, but the brothers were planting the seeds for a multi-million-dollar business lasting at least 4 generations. >> just to give you an example, bell-carter's first canning operation was in berkeley, california in 1930. the company had 12 employees, and i think their annual--annually they
canned about 7,000 cases of olives. come up to today's standards. we have over 500 employees canning well over 9 million cases a year. >> at the heart of the business is the fruit, arriving at the processing plant within 24 hours of being picked so the olives can be sized and sorted. although the olives are initially green and bitter, they're soaked for days in these special containers, and mixed with lye and carbon dioxide to turn theinto those familiar california black olives. >> they can tree ripen, but for
the nice, firm, black, ripe california olive, we want the greenest, firmest olive we can get to start with. and we'll take--our 7-day special process will take that bitterness out and turn it into a shiny, black, beautiful california black olive. >> but what about those olive pits? well, they're specially removed from the black olives using a process the bell brothers helped to invent back in the 1930s. >> arthur bell, along with another innovation--arthur bell, along with studes from the engineering department at berkeley invented the pitter-chopper. this @achine would basically take the pit out of the olive at the same time it chopped the olive in small pieces. bell's chopped olives was widely used in the chopped olive sandwich, which was considered a delicacy around san francisco. the bell-carter family and all the dedicated employees have been processing
top quality olives for over 97 years. >> then they're off to a pizza chain, restaurant, or grocerystore near you. in corning, charlotte fadipe for "california country tv." >> this segment is brought to you by the california farm bureau federation. from farm to feast, stay tuned for more of the tempting tastes of california.
>> welcome back to "california country." >> long known for being the salad bowl of the world, now one salinas based company is changing what we put in our salads. did you know that in terms of production value, lettuce is the leading vegetable crop in the ufited states? and each year, more than 80% of the salad greens consumed in the united states are grown in the salis valley. and while lettuce is consistently among california's top commodities, nobody has seen quite the success in the salinas valley as
tanimura & antle. one of california's biggest and most respected fas, it has become a leader in quality and innovation when it comes to our favorite leafy green. and it was all started by two families coming together over a common thread. >> i'm a third-generation farmer. my grandfather came here, originally from san juan bautista, probably growing hay and stuff out there. but he heard about the lettuce industry in the earla 1920s, so he moved my family here to castroville and started farming lettuce. >> the two families came together, and we'd always been farming collectively together. they had their separate farming operation. we had our separate harvest and marketing. and what we did in 1982 is we formed tanimtra & antle, where we've created a vertically integrated company where we had the farming, the harvest, the cooling and marketing all under one umbrella. so from a very humble beginning in 1982 to what we have today, it was really the--you know, the respect that the two families have had for
over 50 years. >> today the tanimura family and the antle family farm more than 30,000 acres and assure excellence all the way from the seed to your salad. hand selected, picked, and washed, every step to ensure food safety is taken here. and as a result, tanimura & antle is now one of america's premiere fresh produce farming operations with over 40 varieties of fresh vegetables available for consumers. but nothing has them quite as excited these days as their newest product, artisan lettuce. 3 varieties are highlighted: red and green gem, red and green petite oak, and red and green tango, all 3 of which were researched and developed to meet both the company's standards of quality and the consumers' needs for taste, color, and texture. >> well, if we see--you just gotta look to the past. it was iceberg. it took a long to get to romaine. it took a long time to get to the spring mix. it took a shorter amount of time here. i think you're just gonna see more of these type of products. much like the
electronics business, just the speed of technology's, you know, exponential. it goes faster. and so that's it--we've always got to be out in front trying to find out what is that next thing that the consumers are looking for. >> and at the top of most consumer surveys is convenience. the variety of lettuce in each package eliminates the need to buy a lot of different heads of lettuce, and thus allows for customized blends. also, the petite size and shape of each artisan lettuce head lets folks have a quick and easy preparation as well as flexibility in sizes and cuts. in fact, the lettuce only needs two cuts, a quick rinse in the sink, and a crisping in the fridge, and you're all ready to plate. ok, julie, we're at the last--my favorite step--the eating process. we've cut, 've rinsed, we've crisped. now what do we do with the lettuce? >> basically you plate it, get ready to plate it up. you put some oil and vinegar salad dressing with a little salt and pepper in it, and just toss it 'cause you don't want to cover
it up with too much of a heavy thing. >> tasty. but if you'd rather let a professional plate you up a salad of artisan lettuce, then head on over to the fish hopper restaurant on cannery row. from any table in the restaurant, you'll have a breathtaking view of monterey bay. here there's a long list of entrees, with most of the menu understandably being devoted to seafood. but executive chef mo tabib believes not only in taking advantage of the abundant natural riches of the monterey peninsula, but also the multitude of agriculture the area is fortunate to have. >> here we--of course we are-- we support all the local growers and the stability of the seafood and the produce. and this is something in your backyard. to get that quality, it's definitely any chef's dream. here we have 3 different kinds of lettuce and artisan lettuce. they're all in one box. i mean, how great thap can get?
first of all we have the tundra. the tundra--the thing is, i like--you like lettuce? you know, it's more... you know, you can really see it's a little bit spicy, so we add the--goat cheese goes so well with green beans and heirloom tomatoes and that light dressing we just made. >> so no matter how you slice it, cut it, or chop it, these gourmet greens will be here as long as these pioneering farming families are around to liven up your next salad and grow you the perfect meal. for "california country," i'm tracy sellers.
>> ah, flowers. whatever the reason, whatever the season, flowers are big business in california. surveys show the golden state sells about 500 million stems of flowers in a given year. but it takes much more than slipping a bloom into a vase to get a fresh bouquet to you. don garabaldi's family has been growing acres and acres of flowers for 106 years. pescadero is a sleepy seaside town not far from the city. the area has a mild climate and rich earth, the perfect setting to produce vibrant flowers. a rainbow of blooms are picked here on the hour, every hour, 6 days a week. >> we love it when we first work the soil with the equipment. you turn the ground over. it's got a nice, fresh smell to it. and you work in the soil, leveling it off, making rows so you can plant your qeeds. and then 90 ys to 120 days down the road,
you see the flowers come up, and your production, and we get a tremendous satisfaction out of that. >> yellow yarrow, delphinia, larkspur, stock, and dianthus pepper the landscape, and eventually make their way to bouquets around the world. >> once in a while i have tours here. we walk them through everything from bare ground to seed to the production growing to all the equipment that we use. and they're kind of amazed what it takes to grow all this stuff. it's a lot of countless hours and a lot of work. it's a lot of hard work. >> a day in the life of a flower arrangement means going from the farm to the mart to the florist, a process that starts around midnight. >> and there's a lot of space out there. the streets are quiet. and in here there's just a lot of movement--the flowers and different things and
deliveries. having a cup of coffee, talking about what they want for the next market day. and that's--that's what it's all about. >> hundreds of vendors supply the san francisco flower mart with flowers in every make, model, shape, and size. but this place had much simpler beginnings. in the late 1800s, local flower growers pould pedal their goods at lotta's fountain where market, geary, and kearny streets converge in downtown san francisco. today local growers continue to supply the mart with bushels of bouquets, providing the first crucial step in a day in the life of how flowers get to you. >> people that i know, most of them don't even know that the flower market exists. and if they do, they have no idea that it goes on in the middle of the night. >> and i think that anybody that comes here and sees what goes on in the early mornings, they can see the spirit and how everybody really enjoys it. just look at all these beautiful flowers. this is the largest flower market in the world. it's got every variety possible. and if you can't find it here,
it's not available or it's not in season. you're helping your dad today, huh? >> a little bit. >> yeah, that's good. don't forget to go and have a piece of cake over there. >> what's the celebration? >> anniversary, 48 yearsyeah. >> congratulations! >> i started out going to the flower market at 12 years old. i'm giving my age away, but--ha ha ha! it's been a lot of fun through the years, hasn't it? >> yeah, it sure has. we've been in this market a long time. >> a long time. we've done a lot of nice things. >> and we've caused a little commotion >> a little trouble we've gotten in, with both the tenants and the customers... >> and the customers. >> and the wives. >> oh, yeah, the wives. >> we won't--ha ha ha! you know, actually at one time, back many years ago, they used topen up at 6:00, and then they changed it to 7:00. and now it opens when you get there. heh! we actually get there sometimes at midnight, 11:30, and customers
will be waiting 'cause they want to get their flowers. and they maybe come from a long distance, so they want to get them, and they want t beat the traffic. >> on@e at the shop, the flowers are pampered and processed and placed in a vase. it's been a mere 10 hours since this larkspur left the farm in pescadero. it n@w heads out the door to brighten someone's day. california-grown goodness at its best. i'm dennis newhall for "california country." >> that concludes today's tour of the best of "california country." join us next time for more undiscovered treasures from the most fascinating state in the country. [captioning made possible by california farm bureau federation] [captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org--]